Grilled Vegetable Salad Capri-Style

This is a typical Italian way of preparing vegetables, but I first had it in a little restaurant called La Capannina on the Isle of Capri, and so I think of it as Capri-style. The vegetables listed here are merely guidelines—as always, the fresher and more seasonal, the better.
Mario Batali Italian Grill by Mario Batali; copyright © HarperCollins

Mario Batali Italian Grill; copyright (c) HarperCollins

Grilled Vegetable Salad Capri-Style

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    Ingredients

    cup red wine vinegar 2 red bell peppers
    3 garlic cloves, minced 2 yellow bell peppers
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled 12 baby zucchini with flowers or 4 small zucchini
    1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 medium red onions
    1 teaspoon Colman's dry mustard 6 scallions
    1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes 12 spears pencil asparagus
    cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt
    Grated zest and juice of 1 orange 12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin slivers)
    2 small Asian or Italian eggplant

    directions

    Prep: 5 min Total: 15 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

    • 2

      In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, mustard, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and orange juice (reserve the zest for garnish). Set aside.

    • 3

      Cut the eggplant into ½-inch-thick slices. Cut the peppers into quarters and remove the cores and seeds. If using baby zucchini, cut them lengthwise in half. If using small zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices (discard the first and last slice from each). Cut the onions into 6 or 8 wedges each. Trim the scallions. Snap off the tough bottom parts of the asparagus stalks.

    • 4

      Place the vegetables on two large baking sheets. Brush lightly with some of the red wine vinegar marinade and season lightly with salt. Place on the grill over medium-high to high heat (you will probably have to cook the vegetables in batches) and cook, turning once or twice, until tender and slightly charred on both sides: the eggplant will take about 8 to 10 minutes, the peppers 10 to 12 minutes, the zucchini 6 to 8 minutes, the onions and scallions 4 to 6 minutes, and the asparagus 5 to 7 minutes. Remove each vegetable from the grill as it is done and return to the baking sheets.

    • 5

      Cut the peppers crosswise in half. Arrange the vegetables decoratively on a large serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Sprinkle with the orange zest and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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